Some businesses take a break, others avoid celebrating any specific day. With our increasingly diverse and global economy, how do you handle marketing around the holidays?
Hashtags are your friend! Use as many as you can! There are many different holidays occurring this time of year.
Know who your clients are (or who your audience is) – it may be winter here in the Northern Hemisphere but it’s summer south of the Equator
Respect your unique culture – what makes sense for you/your business – your brand should be a reflection of your collective personality
Scheduling during the Holidays:
- Be careful with automation … you may schedule something that posts at a really inappropriate time
- Either schedule and respond, or don’t schedule and choose to ‘go dark’ instead (many businesses choose to close between Christmas and New Year’s), but communicate either way
Buffer example: https://twitter.com/joelgascoigne/status/943024640473030657
Oftentimes, social media is the last recourse for people looking for support – tweeting shows that you are available. If you aren’t there to actually respond, you shouldn’t have automated tweets going out
The trick to scheduling is to make it look like your tweets aren’t scheduled
Make use of the social platforms that make sense for your demographic – if you know that your customers/users use Facebook far more than Twitter, focus heavy marketing efforts on that platform
Don’t miss out on using Facebook Events to help promote … if someone likes or shows interest in your event, it will show in their friend’s notifications and help promote it further. Also, Facebook will show users events happening in their area and they are searchable!
When you tell your fans to like your event, make sure you also ask them to invite their friends to join them!
Another bonus – When people take photos at your event, Facebook will also ask them if they want to share their images to your page/event!
At the holidays, don’t worry about blasting out a lot of information – there is so much going on, it’s easy for people to miss things
Holidays are all about love and belonging – if you can tap into that, and help your customer feel ‘that’ – your brand is winning
For email marketing, make sure to let your customers know early and often about shipping deadlines for the Holidays (standard mail, priority mail, express, etc.)
You can create your own holidays / events – but be sure to promote them properly, just as you would with any other event
Come up with creative ways to get people to buy – Old Navy: “don’t need it by Christmas, pick slower shipping and we’ll donate $1 to charity”
If you understand your audience and what matters to them, communicate those shared values to them through your marketing and it will have a much greater impact
Whatever your marketing is throughout the year, your marketing during the holidays should just be an amplification of that – you shouldn’t change your company’s message just to get attention
Instagram is no longer in chronological order so it’s not the best for promoting time-sensitive deals, it’s better for the soft sell … one good example: https://www.instagram.com/campbowwow/
Be careful with big cultural holidays that are ‘like’ standard holidays in size and scope, but more commercial (such as the SuperBowl) – many words and phrases are trademarked and can’t be used in your marketing – you may need to get creative with your phrasing!
Also, remember your culture and your brand – don’t advertise for a cultural/commercial holiday that doesn’t make sense for who you are.
Don’t forget to make use of Snapchat, and custom Snapchat filters – if your customers post images with your custom filter, it will give them the option to share to your company ‘story’ on Snapchat
A great way to get user-generated content/participation is to ask fans to submit their best photos/videos (using branded filters) etc. and offer something in return – a great example is ElfYourself from Office Depot which started as a marketing campaign and has become a cultural norm and tradition
“Merry Kiss Me” arch at Dana Point Holiday Lights – they created a contest to get people to take and share their photos taken there
Plan your marketing early (September at the latest) and build it up slowly as you approach the holidays – use a broad approach – everything in your social media arsenal. (maybe also remind your users to keep their accounts public .. private account content is locked down and unavailable for sharing)
You don’t want your ads to feel like ads – make them so good and so relatable – that people share them and retweet them just like they would a friends tweet!
Big Takeaway: User-generated content is the way to win at holiday marketing!
Thanks for helping with our show notes!
Cheryl LaPrade @yaycheryl 🙂
Sherie LaPrade @heysherie 🙂
James Tryon @jamestryon